5 Questions to ask your current energy broker

05 Jun

You may be of the understanding that all energy brokers and their services are the same, unfortunately this is not always the case. As energy bills account for some of the largest spends of businesses of all sizes, it is important for business owners to really understand the services they are searching for and the services they are receiving. 

Your energy brokers aim will be to enable you to save money on your energy contracts using an array of suppliers, the benefit of this, is that all these suppliers are suddenly competing for your business, all through one central point, your broker.

The relationships your broker has with these suppliers often allows for more favorable rates based on the fact that your business will be one of many that your particular broker will place with a supplier, of course, the more opportunities your broker generates, the more attractive the prices become from these suppliers.

This guide aims to provide 5 simple questions that we feel are the most important to ask your current energy broker, we've also answered them ourselves:

Do you have a preference when recommending different suppliers?

The broker wants your business, the supplier wants theirs, to achieve this, often suppliers will offer incentives to their brokers to place more business with them. This can come in the form of out-pricing alternative suppliers to make one in particular appear more attractive to you based only upon price.

XGP says:
Our priority is our customers, each one has differing requirements and we respect and deliver on these. Best price doesn't always relate to best service or offering, that is why, we will always give comparative options for our customers to make the best decision on.
While our relationships with suppliers are strong, we are not affiliated or targeted by any so you will never find XGP encouraging one supplier over another, we will only ever offer un-bias advice and recommendations.

How is your service paid for?

Understanding your brokers fees is crucial and with over 70 energy brokers operating in the UK, there are many ways that each one chooses to 'sell' its services. This can vary from; a one-off consultancy fee, payable directly from the customer - with or without securing an energy contract for them, whilst many others include their fees inside the prices offered to the customer. 

Determining which is the most effective for you, is always based on your business needs and position. There really is no right or wrong way, however, the cost inevitability is met by you so understanding how is always important.

XGP says:
We are always transparent with our customers, regardless of the query, one which is often asked is how we are paid for our services, the answer is very simple, when we sell an energy contract to you, we sell you the entire package. That includes; highly competitive pricing, enviable customer service and of course, our no nonsense approach. 

You will never be expected to pay us directly and you are under no obligation to complete your energy switches or renewals with us.

We always ensure the prices we offer remain competitive and fair.

Are you ICO registered?

ICO certification is a requirement for all businesses that process personal information, it is a way to ensure that all businesses doing so, are complying with GDPR regulations and that the information each business holds on you is stored, used and disposed of effectively. 

You can read more about ICO registration here, you can also search the ICO register by company name to ensure that those that do hold your personal information are complying with these regulations.

XGP says:
Yes, we are ICO registered. We have ensured that our processes of personal data is as secure as it possibly can be, we have also included this in our Privacy PolicyAll the team at XGP are fully trained and competent in the handling of customer data and are always willing to answer your questions should you have any.

Do you work directly with suppliers or via a third party?

Energy brokers are able to access prices through either direct relationships or via a third party, or a mixture of the two. The reason it is important to understand which of these your broker operates with is again to understand how much you may be paying and where this goes.

By accessing prices from a third party, it does not necessarily mean you pay more, as the payment of these services are met often by the brokers themselves. 

XGP says:
We have access to prices directly from more than 20 suppliers and we are continuing to develop and add to these relationships, for those we have not yet secured, we are able to access prices through an exclusive portal service, this is a process that we fund to enable us to conduct our business in the best interests of our customers. Wherever we source our prices from, we do not pass added costs onto our customers, with XGP you always receive a fair and competitively priced offer. 

How does your service compare to others?

Asking this to any business, you'll often be told 'we're better' or worse, you'll be told why their competitors are not good enough for you to place business with. Every business operates in its own way, there is no right or wrong, so talking to your potential partners or suppliers is the best way to determine if your broker is the right fit for your business.

XGP says:
Our business is built around one simple, clear message. No nonsense. We are transparent in approach, straight talking and offer simple, easy to understand information. That may or may not be the right approach for everyone, but if it is the right approach for you, then you should certainly contact our team.

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